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Health Education: Sex

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the impact of sex education on the attitudes and lifestyle choices of young people; and what guidance he has issued to schools on the recommended content of sex education materials. (184960)

The Department issued its “Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) Guidance (DfES 0116/2000)” to all maintained schools in July 2000. This outlines the responsibility of schools in this area and provides information on the issues to be covered at each of the four key stages, taking account of the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the young people receiving this education.

The Department has not commissioned research on the impact of SRE on the attitudes and lifestyle choices of young people. However, as part of the Children’s Plan we have given a commitment to review best practice in effective SRE and how it is delivered in schools. We have listened to young people and recognise that many feel that they do not currently have the knowledge they need to make safe and responsible choices about relationships and sexual health. We will involve young people fully in the review to make sure that future SRE better meets their needs.